Tuesday , Apr , 05 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – April 5

=== Los Angeles Lakers Team Report – April 5 ===

(Sports Network) – The fading Los Angeles Lakers play the finale of a three-
game road trip on Tuesday, as they visit the explosive Phoenix Suns at America
West Arena.

It is the third meeting of the season between the Lakers and Suns. In the
two previous contests, Phoenix defeated LA at home on November 19th and at the
Staples Center on December 8th. The teams will play for a fourth and final
time in the 2004-05 campaign on April 11th at the Staples Center.

The road team has won four of the last six meetings in this series, while the
home team has won 12 of the last 17 contests. The Lakers have lost five of
their last eight at Phoenix.

The Lakers are on the brink of missing the postseason for the first time since
1994. LA, which is 33-40 and has nine games left on its schedule, trail the
Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies by 8 1/2 games for the final playoff
berth in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies host the Nuggets on Tuesday at
FedExForum. Memphis and Denver are both 41-31.

Los Angeles enters Tuesday’s game on a three-game losing streak. On
Sunday, Mike Miller had 22 points and six rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies
used a huge first-quarter and cruised past the Lakers, 102-82 at the

Caron Butler had 18 points to in the loss to Memphis lead the struggling
Lakers, who have dropped 11 of their last 12 games overall. Chucky Atkins
finished with 13 points and five assists, while Slava Medvedenko contributed
10 points and four boards.

All-Star Kobe Bryant, who did not play in the second half of the loss to
Memphis, played just 14 minutes because he aggravated a shin injury. LA’s
superstar shooting guard registered nine points and three rebounds. Bryant is
questionable for Tuesday’s game.

The Lakers, who are 9-6 in Tuesday games this season, are just 11-25 as the
visitor this season. They have lost eight straight on the road. LA’s last win
away from home was on March 12th at Charlotte.

LA is scheduled to host the Houston Rockets on Thursday before going on the
road for a pair of games against Seattle and Sacramento. The Lakers will play
five of their final nine games on the road.